Why factories need Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and a checklist to guide your selection of AMRs?

According to research and markets reports, the global mobile robotics market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15.34 per cent from approximately US$11.4 billion in 2019 to US$30.9 billion by 2026.

The biggest growth drivers for this market are rising labour costs in developed markets, reshoring the supply chain due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and the adoption of intelligent manufacturing practices to keep pace with the competition.

Why do you need AMRs?

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are intelligent and enables the automation of material handling and transportation needs with the flexibility to adapt to workflow changes at your workplace. AMRs have the capability to handle heavy, fragile or high-value payloads and mobile robots are more efficient in taking on repetitive tasks than human operators.

The AMR market is constantly evolving, with new applications being developed by original equipment manufacturers and system integrators to suit use cases in different industries. Examples include pallet and trolley movers and robot manipulators integrated into AMRs for picking and handling.

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Common Pain Points in Manufacturing, Healthcare Facilities

Human errors in material handling and deliveries –

When it is critical to meet manufacturing deadlines, companies need to reduce human errors in intralogistics processes and increase efficiencies through automation.

Learn more about how AMRs are integrated into a scheduling system to automate the transportation of heavy lots placed on trolleys between drop points and test stations.

Long-distance delivery leads to operators’ fatigue and occupational injuries –

Traveling long distance within facility premises is not a productive use of factory operators’ time. Operators are also prone to fatigue, and repetitive handling of heavy loads over long distances may lead to injuries.

Learn more about how to increase productivity, safety and traceability within a large semiconductor plant.

Ease of monitoring deliveries –

Apart from the benefit of AMRs improving the reliability of delivery processes, the backend software allows factory operators to gain real-time monitoring of tasks without having to travel to the AMR’s location.

Learn more about how we helped operators track the movement of deliveries.

Checklists and Considerations when choosing AMRs 

What are the types of payload capacity available?

The choice of decision-makers for the payload capacity of the AMRs depends on the size and weight of the materials and parts to be handled and transported.  Usually, the AMRs with higher payload capacity are larger in size. Therefore, a related consideration is the operating environment, especially the width of pathways utilised by the AMR as congested and narrow passageways will not accommodate larger sized AMRs. 

Ease of Set up and Deployment

The features in fleet management software (FMS) enables end-users to set up missions with the autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to accommodate individual desired workflows. An intelligent fleet management system can reduce the number of robots required and optimize their performance with intelligent routing and task allocation.

Ability to Navigate within Narrow Aisles

Compact mobile robots that can move bi-directionally at the same speed and are designed to navigate narrow pathways are in great demand for space-constrained facilities. Also, the AMRs should ideally perform a spot turn or reverse out from a dead-end corridor after completing their delivery tasks.

Safety Measures

In a recent report, 72 per cent of manufacturers reported that collisions and other shop floor accidents are a big challenge for businesses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recent statistics shared that in 2019, there were 5,333 fatal occupational injuries recorded in the US alone. One significant consideration for businesses is to ensure safety measures, and mobile robots equipped with safety lasers can collaborate and operate safely with human operators. When these AMR encounters an obstacle while doing a task, it will either stop, skirt around the obstacle and take an alternate route if the path block is permanent.

Teammate Working on SESTO Magnus_FunctionalTesting

Operating Uptime

Operators with multiple deliveries to make throughout the course of a work shift need to consider the operational uptime of the AMRs. Most AMRs operate for about 6 to 10 hours on a single charge. Smarter AMRs feature algorithms will automatically dispatch the robot to charge when the battery level is low.

The Flexibility of AMR 

AMRs used to operate and automate intralogistics deliveries need to have the flexibility to handle top modules that are custom-built for the payloads. Examples of these include shelving modules, lifter mechanisms and collaborative robots. In addition, AMRs should have the protocols for a machine-to-machine data exchange for industrial automation and APIs for integration with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

To learn more on AMR solutions and how they can improve delivery and processes at your workplace, please contact us here.